Travelogue Chapter One

Today has been a long day. It is only 1000 on Wednesday the 22nd of May. If you are among those, such as myself, who measure days not with a calendar, but as those periods of being awake between those periods of being asleep, today started a half a world and 25 hours ago in my nice cozy bed in Wahiawa. I rarely sleep when traveling and despite all attempts otherwise, it seems that this trip will be no different.

It started Tuesday morning when the alarm went off. Not really sure what time it went off as it was Tamara's alarm. I haven't used an alarm clock since my last day of IT school on May 1. At any rate, there I was, wide awake, knowing that if I did go back to sleep it may be hours before I woke up again. As I had yet a lot of stuff to tidy up before I left I decided I'd better get to it or I'd never finish. As usually happens, the time slipped by rather quickly and I ran out of time before I ran out of things. Oh well, at least I got the major things out of the way. Time to leave.

The drive to the airport went a lot better than I had expected given that it was during rush hour and I found myself at the airport, boarding pass in hand, thoroughly inspected, screened, cleaned, and gleaned inside the "secure" area of the airport with three hours to go before my flight leaves. Better than running like mad to grab the plane before they close the jetway, I guess.

The flight went quite well. It was on a 767 with plenty of room for my poor busted up knees. It really surprised me how long it took that thing to leave the ground. I was beginning to think we'd be in Molokai before they finally lifted off. There really wasn't much of a "rotate" on that take off. He basically just flew it right of the end of the runway. A couple minutes after reaching cruise it got a little bumpy but it didn't last long and soon we were in clear air again. The only real complaint I had about the whole ride was the "lady" in front of me who must have thought her seat was a trampoline. It made it rather difficult to watch the little TV screen in the back of the seat when it was bouncing the entire trip.

Snacks and drinks were served, movies were played and soon we were descending into LAX. The pilot *almost* made the perfect descent but blew it when he ended up adding power right before touchdown. Even with the extra boost it was still a bit of a hard landing.

Walking down the jetway I gave Clinton (no, not *THAT* Clinton) a call letting him know I had arrived. Griz arranged for him to pick me up and take me to the bus station in LA. Not having to try to figure out the subway and bus schedule or paying for a taxi to take me there sure was a BIG relief! Thanks guys!! On the way to the bus depot we stopped at the Pantry Cafe for a bite to eat. Until now I never thought you could have too much cheese on an omelet. I still don't, but that was pretty close.

At some point (although it's been 14 years since I rode a cross country bus, I can guess when) Greyhound adopted a much stricter security policy. I have never had my bags searched and my body wanded at a bus station before. It's much like what the airlines were doing in the past but I think it's only for show. This only happened at LA and we were free to wander at all the other stops along the way. At least they didn't have me take my shoes off this time. The front row of seats on the busses are reserved for "Handicapped, Greyhound Employees, and anyone the driver feels comfortable letting that close to the controls, by invitation only." I got that invitation. He didn't say which category he was filing me under. I didn't ask.

Now as I sit at the bus station in Bakersfield I think back on the section of I-5 we just covered. It's been twelve years since I traveled this road (TWELVE YEARS??? Has it really been that long? Oh My God, yes!!) and not a whole lot seems to have changed. As a matter of fact, about the only thing I can see that has changed is the new row of colorful flowered bushes in the center median and the speed limit has increased by fifteen miles per hour.

Well, we are pulling out of the station now and this laptop is hard enough to type on when it isn't moving about. Time to close for now, I guess. Two hours to Fresno and there's not an empty seat on the bus.

(As we pull out of Fresno under VERY clear skies, I can't help but notice that I haven't seen a single General Aviation aircraft in the sky since we left Los Angeles. What's WRONG with these people?? Don't they know how beautiful the weather is here?? Not a cloud to be seen! I haven't seen that for a very long time.)
Finally at Mike's house. Several problems with the bike had us running back and forth all afternoon. One problem (broken mirror pods at $170 each) caused by the crating shop. That along with it's Harley imitation (oil dripping from valve cover) is causing nothing but trouble. It needs some TLC that was not able to be given to it on Guam. I hope it carries me to San Diego on Monday without problems...

On to next chapter